Some Retailers Drop Mask Requirements for Vaccinated Customers
New CDC Guidelines Prompt Changes
Target (TGT), CVS Health (CVS), and Starbucks (SBUX) are among the retailers lifting mask requirements for fully vaccinated customers. The policy shift comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new mask-wearing guidelines last week. The CDC said individuals who are fully vaccinated, meaning those who received their second shot of a two-dose vaccine or their single-dose vaccine two or more weeks ago, no longer need to wear masks inside stores and restaurants. The retailers are not lifting mask rules in towns and states which still require them indoors.
Other retailers which have already lifted mask requirements include Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), Trader Joe’s, and Publix. Companies including Home Depot (HD), Gap (GPS), and Ulta Beauty (ULTA) will maintain their current mask policies as they monitor pandemic developments.
Critics Consider Risks of Lifting Mask Recommendations
The CDC has faced backlash for its decision to change mask-wearing guidelines. The CDC hopes that lifting mask requirements for vaccinated people will encourage more of the population to get the COVID vaccine. However, critics worry that people may not always be honest about their vaccination status. This could put children under age 12 and those who have not been inoculated at increased risk of contracting the virus.
As of this weekend, the CDC said 47% of the population in the US has received one dose of the vaccine and 37% are fully vaccinated. The retailers which changed their mask policies have not announced plans to verify that customers are vaccinated. Most will likely rely on an honor system.
Retailers are mixed when it comes to mask-wearing rules for employees. CVS is still mandating that employees wear masks while Target is not requiring fully vaccinated staff members to wear masks. Target is also giving employees paid time off to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Walmart is also allowing fully vaccinated employees to work without masks. The retailer is paying employees a $75 bonus if they get the vaccine.
As more Americans receive the vaccine and regulations ease, many will be eager to see how consumer habits and retail sales are impacted. Over the summer, it is likely that significant changes will take place for the retail industry, which has been battered by the pandemic.
Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.